Despite spending almost 3 hours at the barn today, I actually had limited time to work with the horses. It was more of a project day and while we were working on other things, I put everybody out in the arena for some grass and play time. They really did not want to run. But, I made them 🙂
Look Chewie not trying to kill Dixie, although his ears are pinned back…
Aren’t they all so cute!
After projects were done, I cracked out Chewbacca and the cart. It was just my husband and I, so we only did a little bit and took it slow.
Chewie did great with standing for the vehicle to be hitched. He stood like he’s been doing this for ten years. It was kind of scary how readily he just stood there.
We did some walking back and forth up and down the bottom half of the driveway, maybe only 100 feet. First we did it with the cart empty. Chewie was walking happily in straight lines. The problem is doing the side-pass turns, but those are something that will take lots of time in the vehicle for him to learn to do. Right now he’s a little frustrated with doing side-pass turns because he just doesn’t understand why he can’t just turn his body. On the good hand, though, he is bumping those shafts like no tomorrow and not caring one bit. Which is great, so he understands the shafts are there and he *can’t* turn around. Eventually he’ll learn to truly side pass, but that is just a time and practice sort of thing.
So, Chewie did very well up and down a few times, and I got in. I had my husband lead Chewie 1 time and then I took total control on the reins and actually DROVE Chewbacca!!!!
Only the second time put to vehicle, and he was actually steering and driving himself. And he is learning to respond to “walk on” and did VERY well with that. SO PROUD!!!
And yes, he is standing here on his own accord after I said whoa. Good thing is he really doesn’t move. One of the most important things any driving horse needs to know is WHOA AND STAND. It is unacceptable for a horse to move at all from the whoa unless asked. I’m blessed that Chewie pretty much stays planted. My husband was a good twelve feet away, if not more, taking pictures.
Next time I think I may try Chewie in the arena and see if we can do a lap or two at the walk. Plus changing directions will be easier in the arena. And I’ll have to have my husband snap some photos!
So proud! (But also quite nervous).
Luke has a new harness on order, which I can’t wait to get for him. Eventually I’ll get Chewie one to match, too, but until he’s actually doing real work with the cart, I don’t think he needs a super-delux (aka expensive) harness. Luke’s new harness will be decked out in orange, so it should look super cool!